ALBANY, GA (WALB) - You need to pay attention to more than just other cars on the roads. A State Farm Insurance survey shows the average cost of hitting a deer is almost $4,000.
Many deer-vehicle collisions happen all across South Georgia roads. Insurance agents and body shop workers have advice on what to do when deer are in front of you on the road.
Body shops are filling up as deer start moving before hunting season.
"The deer become more active as you get into fall and winter months so you'll start to see claims pick up normally around October and November timeframe and really last until about March," said State Farm agent Steve Perrine.
The costs are adding up, too.
"Typical cost if you hit the deer is typically between 3 and 5 thousand dollars. That number goes way up if you end up leaving the road and hitting trees or anything of that sort," said Master Body Works Manager Kevin Haase.
"An average would probably be about $2500," said Charlie's Paint and Body owner Tammy Mays.
The Chevy Cruze on the side is a perfect example. Master Body Works estimates it will cost more than $7,000 to fix, b
ut hitting a deer may be the best thing to do.
"You don't want to swerve and miss the deer and wreck your car because at that point it is a chargeable accident and it would fall under collision coverage as opposed to comprehensive coverage so we kind of say hey, hit the deer," said Perrine.
The driver of one truck ran off the road to miss a deer and caused almost $7,000 of damage.
Someone driving a van hit a pole trying to avoid a deer.
The Department of Natural Resources wants drivers to pay extra attention.
"Generally areas that have an interspersion of wood lots with agriculture is where we generally see more deer-vehicle collisions. You especially want to be careful early evening and early morning. That's the peak time for deer to be moving," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Brent Howze.
So buckle up and drive safe, because deer aren't only in the woods.